787 flight activity picked up this week as the weather cleared long enough for Boeing to send up another 787 on its 1st flight. Yesterday There were 4 787 flights including the B-1 flight for ZA285 (LN 45, N27901) for United Airlines. There was supposed to be another test flight of ZA238 (LN 54, VT-ANJ but it didn't occur.
As Boeing aggressively ramps up flight tests this month deliveries are also starting to take shape. This evening, Boeing delivered United's 4th 787 (ZA289, LN 55, N45905). According to a press report by Bloomberg, Qatar is expecting to take delivery of two 787s on Dec.19th. I also expect Boeing to further deliveries of 787s to ANA (2), United (1)and JAL (1). Wild card deliveries can be made to Air India (2) and possibly China Southern (that airplane still has to make its 2nd test flight).
Now all this continues despite the recent spat of glitches that the 787 has experienced. The most notable one is the issue with the starter generator supplied by Hamilton Sundstrand. A second 787, ZA460 (LN 57, A7-BCA) experienced the fault and landed while being delivered to Doha from Victorville. The generator is being swapped out and the aircraft should enter service soon but the issue is troubling. Akbar (U-Turn Al) Al-Baker again vociferously complained about the teething problems of the 787 to the media (after the first revenue flight of Qatar's 787 to London) but Qatar is still planning to take delivery of 2 787 next week. Still Boeing along with Hamilton Sundstrand and the FAA are looking into the issues. Jon Ostrower of the Wall Street Journal reported that 2 other 787s are affected...one other delivered 787 that belongs to United and an undelivered 787 for Qatar (one of the two that are to be delivered next week). The FAA said the issue doesn't appear to be safety of flight issue and aside for Air India reporting unspecified "electrical problems" no other 787 customers have come forth with electrical probles as of late. Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times also has an article on the 787 electrical issue.
On the production front, expect things to slow down as Boeing enters its traditional Holiday break. One aircraft (ZA513, LN 97, JA819A) for ANA will be loaded into the final assembly line and that will be the last until after New Year.
As of today, Boeing has delviered a total of 40 787 to 8 customers worldwide. They've delivered 37 in 2012 and have to potential to deliver anywhere from 6 to 8 more airplanes this month.